Hoops Preview - Texas A&M

SEATTLE - After a valiant effort against Portland on Saturday, the Washington Huskies (7-2) will be looking to fashion a winning streak when they take on Texas A&M (9-2) Tuesday night. The game will be held at the Bank of America Arena at 8 p.m. and be aired live on Fox Sports Northwest.

Texas A&M is currently ranked 19th in the new AP Top 25 Poll, while the Huskies occupy the 22nd spot. Beyond their big wins against Top-25 teams Clemson and Minnesota in the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif., the Aggies have also won at Southern Methodist, Angelo State, Samford, Prairie View A&M, Akron, North Texas and The Citadel at home.

Their only two losses came in neutral locations against West Virginia and New Mexico, both of which are undefeated and ranked nationally at 6 and 12, respectively.

Finishing in the middle of the pack in the Big-12 last year, Texas A&M had a 24-10 record overall and were 9-7 in conference. Their solid regular season resulted in their 10th NCAA Tournament appearance, their fourth in as many years and second in a row under head coach Mark Turgeon, hired on from Wichita State.

In the first round of the Big Dance they beat BYU 79-66 before losing to Connecticut in the second round in a game that turned out to be a solid thumping, 92-66.

A roster comprised of mainly players from Texas, the Aggies are led by seniors Donald Sloan, Derrick Roland and Bryan Davis. Leading the way in scoring is Sloan, a 6-foot-3 guard out of Dallas, with an average of 17.4 points per game. He is shooting 53 percent from the field and 47 percent from beyond the arc. He is also averaging four rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

Perhaps their best around player is Davis, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward from Dallas. He is averaging a solid 9.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.6 blocks per contest. One thing he has been known for his aggressive play, and he has fouled out twice so far this season, and racked up at least four fouls on five occasions. He has now fouled out eight times during his career in College Station.

As a whole, the Aggies are shooting 47 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point land. They have also averaged 12.2 turnovers per game, while limiting their opponents to an average of 64 points per game.

In the four times that the Dawgs have met Texas A&M on the hardwood, they have been able to come out victorious only once, during the 1951 NCAA Tournament. It was Tippy Dye's first year at Washington and he led the team to an Elite 8 appearance before losing to Oklahoma State. Husky legend Bob Houbregs was a freshmen on that team.

The most recent appearance versus the Aggies was during the 2007 season at the NIT Season Tip-Off. Texas A&M came out on top 77-63 to advance to the championship game, where they beat Ohio State.

UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said he remembers a few of their players from that game. "The thing about A&M when we played them in Madison Square Garden a couple of years ago, they had some good inside players, but their two guards Sloan and Roland I thought really took care of their team in that game," he said. "They played and hit big shots and they were sophomores. Now they're seniors. Along with that, (Dash) Harris, the other guard, they got their 5-11 guard B.J. (Holmes) coming off the bench. Their perimeter is really good and they've been shooting the ball real quick. We got to really be able to guard and defend those guys."

After the Aggies leave town, Washington will take a quick break for Christmas before beginning preparations for San Francisco on Sunday. The game is at noon and will be held at the BoA.


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